Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.

54 GEORGE STREET AND 53A ROSE STREET, ASSEMBLY ROOMS AND MUSIC HALLLB27567

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
A
Date Added
13/01/1966
Local Authority
Edinburgh
Planning Authority
Edinburgh
Burgh
Edinburgh
NGR
NT 25248 73959
Coordinates
325248, 673959

Description

John Henderson, 1784-7; portico added by William Burn, 1817-8, and Music Hall by Burn and David Bryce, 1843; Ballroom extended into portico by Bryce, 1865; Vestibule by John Bryce, 1883; wings and corresponding rooms added by R Rowand Anderson & A J Balfour Paul, 1906-7. Symmetrical neo-classical 2-storey 7-bay assembly rooms with tetrastyle portico and single bay wings. Polished ashlar sandstone. Channelled ground floor (original block V-jointed, portico square-cut) with large square windows and shallow arched doorway at centre; piano nobile with corniced windows surmounted by blank panels, articulated by Doric pilasters, paired at ends; entablature and parapet; projecting pedimented Roman Doric portico, with later canted infill at centre, supported by channelled 3-bay arcade. Slightly set back single bay pend wings repeat theme with shallow arches at ground, and lower wallhead.

Pink rubble returns to original block. Later block of dressed stone with 3 massive arched windows to Music hall and 2 bays beyond; segmental arched access at ground.

3-storey 4-bay stugged ashlar elevation to Rose Street, central 2 bays with higher wallhead; doors at ground.

Timber sash and case 20-pane windows to piano nobile, 3-pane plate glass at ground. Piended roofs; grey slates; ashlar stacks.

INTERIOR: very fine, especially at 1st floor. Low vestibule with depressed arches leads to stair hall flanked by pair of Imperial stairs, with Coade stone figures; elaborately plastered function room straight ahead and down (presumably Anderson & Paul), remaining principal rooms at (or entered from) 1st floor. Henderson's Saloon, domed square lined with Doric columns, with some later decoration, and Ballroom; latter fills front of building, with ceiling roses and fluted Corinthian pilasters added by John Baxter, 1796, and apse and shell-headed doorway added 1865 (although Bryce designed this alteration in 1857). Music Hall of Greek Cross plan with platform in

S arm and gallery in N; segmentally vaulted ceilings and shallow central dome on pendentives; coffers and rosettes. Spectacular crystal chandeliers in principal rooms.

GATEPIERS: corniced ashlar gatepiers to pends at rear.

Statement of Special Interest

A Group with Nos 30-60 (Even Nos) George Street. The Assembly Rooms is an outstanding example of the late 18th century public building, continuing its original use for public functions. It forms an important part of the original fabric of Edinburgh's New Town, one of the most important and best preserved examples of urban planning in Britain.

The Assembly Rooms were built by public subscription, on a site given by the city, and cost over £6,000. They were initially furnished by Young and Trotter.

John Henderson, of Edinburgh, died prematurely (circa 1788) shortly after the Assembly Rooms was completed, and his other known work, now demolished was Amisfield House, East Lothian. Although he is credited with two built works, had he lived longer he would likely be regarded as one of Scotland's leading architects of the Georgian period.

References

Bibliography

RCAHMS INVENTORY no 131. MacRae Her 39. A J Youngson THE MAKING OF CLASSICAL EDINBURGH (1966) p95. Gifford, McWilliam and Walker EDINBURGH (1988) pp281-2. Valerie Fiddes and Alistair Rowan MR DAVID BRYCE 1803-1876 (1976) p96. BUILDER 7th December 1907. SRO. NMRS EDD 95/25. Dean of Guild plans 1843, 29 April 1865. H Colvin, A BIOGRPAHICAL DICTIONARY OF BRITISH ARCHITECTS (1995) pp. 487-488.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

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